America's Boy: A Memoir

America's Boy: A Memoir

by Wade Rouse


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In the tradition of such quirky and smart coming-of-age memoirs as Augusten Burroughs's Running with Scissors and Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy, America's Boy is an arresting and funny tale of growing up different in America's heartland.

Wade didn't quite fit in. While schoolmates had crewcuts and wore Wrangler jeans, Wade styled his hair in imitation of Robbie Benson circa Ice Castles and shopped in the Sears husky section. Wade's father insisted on calling everyone “honey”—even male gas station attendants. His mother punctuated her conversations with “WHAT?!” and constantly answered herself as though she was being cross-examined. He goes to school with a pack of kids called goat ropers who make the boys from Deliverance look like honor students. And he both loved and hated his perfect older brother.

While other families traveled to Florida and Hawaii for vacation, Wade's family packed their clothes in garbage bags and drove to their log cabin on Sugar Creek in the Missouri Ozarks. And it is here that Wade found refuge from his everyday struggle to fit in—until a sudden, terrible accident on the Fourth of July took his brother's life and changed everything.

Equally nostalgic, poignant, funny, and compelling, this is a story of what it is to be normal, what it means to fit in, and what it means to be yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525949343
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2006
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.82(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.18(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

WADE ROUSE is a public-relations director at one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious private schools. He is also a journalist whose articles have appeared in The Chicago Reader and The St. Louis Riverfront Times.

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America's Boy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
DrDrewO More than 1 year ago
Wade Rouse's America's Boy: A Memoir provides a look at the author's life growing up in the Ozarks and the development of his identity. Rouse skillfully weaves in and out of childhood memories leaving the reader engrossed in how they each connect. Themes of inadequacy, adolescence, self-discovery, but most of all family, Rouse provides a glimpse of his journey through sexual identity and the people who gave him the strength to do so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great memoir filled with laughs, intrigue and that will move your soul while, inflating your heart, pick up this book! You won't be disappointed!
EmScape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wade Rouse's slightly better than average memoir elucidates snippets from his life growing up fat and gay in the Missouri Ozarks. He lives in an exceedingly rural community with an overwhelmingly close but loving family and therefore spends most of his life pretending he is not gay (although, as he states several times, it's quite all right to be fat). Most of the stories are humorous, such as when Wade dresses up in his mother's bikini and crowns himself "Miss Sugar Creek," and others are heartbreaking, like the entire section regarding Wade's brother's death. Rouse is an engaging and descriptive writer, and I enjoyed reading about his life. I was going to give this book a completely average review, but the final section of stories, about Wade finally coming to terms with his sexuality, completely redeem the rest of the exceedingly mediocre book.
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